Oklahoma State enters the season not only as a legitimate Big 12 contender, but as a potential FBS playoff contender.
Coach Mike Gundy and the Cowboys will appear at the The Star in Frisco, Texas, for the Big 12’s media days on Tuesday.
Gundy addresses the media at 12:25 p.m. CT on Tuesday. Among the OSU players who will be attending include quarterback Mason Rudolph, wide receiver James Washington, linebacker Chad Whitener and punter Zach Sinor.
Here are some of the questions that likely will be posed to the Cowboys and Gundy.
Is this talk about a potential shot at the national championship legitimate?
Many around the Cowboys predict this season’s team is similar to the Cowboys’ team in 2011. That squad raced to a Big 12 championship, a Fiesta Bowl triumph and were on the cusp of playing for the national championship. This season could break similarly for the Cowboys. It will be interesting if they acknowledge it.
How will Rudolph and Washington explain their decision to remain for their senior seasons?
OSU’s pitch-and-catch combo potentially is the best in the country. And both players could have made a lot of money if they had decided to declare for the NFL draft after last season. They didn’t and because of it, OSU’s title hopes are legitimate. Were there any other reasons that made them want to come back?
Is Oklahoma State’s offense really as good as its early billing?
There are explosive attacks in the Big 12 and then there is Oklahoma State. With Rudolph, Washington, Justice Hill, Marcell Ateman and LSU transfer Tyron Johnson in place, the Cowboys could be lethal. And it could be among the best in the conference’s history. Is it too early to start coming up with nicknames for this group? Maybe Gundy might have one ready?
Can Oklahoma State’s defense play well enough to win a Big 12 title?
The Cowboys return five starters on defense. Most worrisome, two new cornerbacks enter the starting lineup after Ramon Richards moves to free safety. The Cowboys played salty defense late last season. Replicating that surge will determine OSU’s title hopes.
Will Mike Gundy by Mike Gundy?
Only a few years ago, Gundy was a national punchline after his “I’m a man! I’m 40” rants pushed him into the spotlight. Now with Bob Stoops retired, Gundy becomes the elder statesman among Big 12 coaches in terms of continuous tenure.
Will that new stature lead him to tone down some of his celebrated rhetoric? Or will he believe that he needs to continue it to help his team build national credibility?
Everybody will be listening to what he says.